Anxiety and frustration spilled onto the platform at the Rosslyn metro station Tuesday during the evening rush when an Orange Line train went on the wrong tracks.
Catherine Martel, an intern at ABC 7, happened to be on that very train.
She says her Orange Line train – instead of going westbound – went south onto the Blue Line tracks after leaving Rosslyn. All of the passengers were then forced to get off at the next stop: Arlington Cemetery.
"Normally, it's underground taking the Orange line, but instead it came up and it was at Arlington Cemetery,” said Martel. “So at first I thought, ‘Oh, did I take the wrong train?’ I'm on the Blue Line. But then people starting getting angry."
When the transit riders finally returned to Rosslyn, the lower level was packed.
Metro officials admit that this kind of signal problem happens from time to time. They say that while it can lead to minor delays, they insist it presents “no danger” to riders because the misdirected train is going in the same direction as the other trains.
The same scenario happened just last Wednesday at the same location. Metro officials confirm to ABC 7 that an investigation of that incident revealed that it was due to a human error in the control center, when an employee misrouted the train by inputting an incorrect destination code.
The investigation for this particular incident is still ongoing.
Scott Rheinhardt, a Metro rider, says, “It’s kind of scary because you are not sure where the train going. You don't know if they're going in the right location or if it’s a problem."